Arsenal owner says no plans to sell amid Gulf reports

Stan Kroenke says that side has received no offer amid speculation of US$2.25bn Gulf bid
Emirates football
By Daniel Shane
Sun 03 Mar 2013 04:27 PM

The owner of English Premier League club Arsenal FC said that he has received no offer for the side and has no intention to sell following a report that a consortium of Gulf investors was planning a US$2.25bn offer, it was reported.

Sources close to the Arsenal board told the Press Association that Stan Kroenke, who owns 68.83 percent of the London-based team, was "in it for the long-term".

The UK's Sunday Telegraph had earlier claimed that a mystery consortium from Qatar and the UAE is preparing to table a world record bid for the English Premier League football club.

If it went through, the deal would dwarf the current record of US$1.2bn, paid by the Glazer family for Manchester United, and would strengthen the Arab influence among Europe’s top clubs, with Manchester City owned by Abu Dhabi and Paris St Germain owned by Qataris.

The consortium are believe to hope the huge bid – which more than doubles a 2011 valuation of the club – will be enough to tempt majority owner Kroenke to sell.

The cash offer would reportedly see the investors bid around US$30,000 per share, making Kroenke’s 66.83 percent stake worth US$1.25bn, and would also wipe out the club’s US$376m debts.

The group has also reportedly said they would provide substantial transfer funds, reduce ticket prices, and turn Arsenal into a “world force”.

A bid source, talking to the UK's Sunday Telegraph, said: “Arsenal is at a pivotal position at the moment. The fear is that the club is facing a cycle of decline like Liverpool. From our point of view it is the perfect moment to make this bid because at this moment in time you can still genuinely justify this extraordinary valuation on the club.

“We will not bid for Arsenal if they go into decline. Kroenke and [major shareholder] Usmanov will not get this kind of valuation if Arsenal do not succeed and will not get this kind of valuation ever again.

“We think that bidding now is the key because it is going to give every shareholder maximum value. We are giving them peak valuation.

“The amount of capital required to pump into Arsenal to make it competitive within England, Europe and the world means that the valuation cannot go any higher.”

Arsenal has existing ties with the Gulf in the form of major shirt and stadium sponsorship deals with Dubai carrier Emirates Airline.

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